After many long nights, a lot of incredibly hard work by Liquid Web’s Heroic Support technicians, and diligent benchmarking, we’re proud to release the performance results for our latest VPS instances. Let me prepare you: The performance of our Zone C SSD Storm® VPS Servers will knock your socks off! We’ve found our Zone C VPS servers outperform our major competitors both in terms of CPU performance, disk I/O performance, and cost per IOP.
Benchmarking Tools & Methodology
The CPU benchmarking results for our 2 GB Storm® Zone C servers can be found on the CloudHarmony website, which displays the GeekBench 3 performance score. GeekBench tests CPUs in a number of ways: integer performance, floating point performance, and memory performance. For a more indepth explanation on those performance tests, check out their explanation here. GeekBench 3 takes these three tests and compiles their results into one combined score: the higher the score, the better.
To measure our Disk I/O (storage) performance, we looked at the results for random read and write IOPS, also available on the CloudHarmony website. We used the data for 4k Read IOPS and 4k Write IOPS to compare to our competitors. We chose to highlight and compare data for the 4k random read and write operations for a number of reasons. First, random IOPS are the typical type of workload seen on web and database servers. Second, the smaller size of 4k reads and writes is ideal for testing server performance because it is the most intensive workload and therefore shows the lowest possible performance numbers (again, the higher the score the better).
In addition, we also compared our cost per IOP across comparable servers, using the same IOPS data from CloudHarmony and pricing data gathered from our competitors’ websites.
The servers we compared are:
- Liquid Web 2 GB SSD VPS – Zone C
- Rackspace General 2 GB
- Digital Ocean 2 GB
- AWS m3.medium
The CPU has a large impact on application performance and is a critical component to measure when analyzing the overall performance of a server. The faster your CPU performs, the faster your server can process tasks. As seen in the graph below, Liquid Web outperforms everyone in our tests for CPU performance – we are, core for core, faster than all of our largest competitors. Our score of 3,881 for a single CPU, according to the GeekBench 3 Utility run by CloudHarmony, is considerably higher than comparable servers at Rackspace, Digital Ocean, and AWS.
Disk I/O (Storage)
IOPS (input/output operations per second) are a metric that are commonly used to measure disk I/O performance. Simply put, IOPS demonstrate how many input or output operations (like reading or writing data) can be performed by the storage device every second. The more operations that can be performed, the faster your disk is – which allows your server to complete tasks quickly. Even if a server has a high performing CPU, slow Disk I/O can hold up the whole process and keep the CPU waiting.
While IOPS are perhaps the most common measurement of performance for servers, we made one very important decision while benchmarking this metric: when comparing our random IOPS, we made the conscious choice to split up the random read and random write data. We made this choice in order to present the most honest and transparent data possible. It is incredibly easy to see high numbers of random reads, but it is much harder to see high numbers for random writes; reads often have much higher numbers for a couple of reasons. First, the way Linux caches files provides for easy access and allows read operations to perform much quicker. Second, writing files to the drive takes much longer than reading because the operating system waits for confirmation from the disk that the data was successfully written. In addition, some workloads require more reads than writes, or vice versa, so it’s critical to look at performance in both of these areas. Hence, separating our reads and writes allows us to showcase our high numbers on both sides of the coin – and let’s you see the true capability of the server.
Our latest 2 GB VPS Storm® Zone C instances offer significantly higher random read and random write IOPS than our closest competitors, specifically when you look at the performance data for comparable VPS instances (according to CloudHarmony). We are the clear winner in terms of Disk I/O compared to Rackspace’s, Digital Ocean’s, and AWS’s similar VPS instances.
In addition, we not only compared raw read IOPS and write IOPS, but we also compared our cost per write IOP – the more important of the two IOPS measurements (as we discussed above). We are much cheaper in terms of dollars per write IOP compared to our major competitors’ similar servers. We provide more bang for your buck with every IOP.
So, why are we better?
The secret sauce behind our performance comes down to a combination of best practices and Heroic ingenuity. These servers, built specifically for high performance and incredible speed, are the direct result of pooling together Heroic brain power, long nights of hard work, and a drive to always produce the best products for our customers. We’re incredibly proud of the performance results we’re seeing from our 2 GB SSD VPS instances in Zone C. This VPS performance comparison showcases the true power of our servers and far surpass our competitors in CPU performance, Disk I/O for, and dollars per IOPS.